Discovering ways to be a father while retaining your sense of self is a surefire way to come across as a cool dad – not just to your kids and the rest of the world but to yourself as well. Having kids doesn’t automatically mean you are stripped of your coolness! So, how do you become a fun and cool dad? These four tips are sure to help.
Want to Be a Cool Dad? | Here Are 4 Tips for How to Do That
1. Dress Up When Necessary
If you want to be a cool dad, perhaps it’s time to put a little effort into what you wear.
When you first became a father, high fashion probably meant a clean pair of sweats. That may be okay every once in a while, but you can also try adding more durable pieces to your wardrobe, too.
Dressing up can portray a message to your children. For example, it speaks a lot about self-care. You may never run out of things on your to-do list, family and work perhaps taking first and second place, but you should always find time to take care of yourself.
When it comes to your wardrobe, the key is to focus on a style that’s right for men, not teenagers. Don’t try to find common ground with your kids by dressing like them. That will likely only cause more alienation between you.
Here are some pointers to achieve your cool dad style:
- Start with a leather belt or a funky watch.
- Instead of wearing a dingy undershirt under your collared shirt, opt for a tee with a pop of color.
- Rather than the usual windbreaker when in gray or drizzly weather, try a classic trench coat. This adds a hint of old-school “spy dad” to your style.
- Remember, dressing like your children won’t fool anybody. On days where you want to connect with your inner child, do it with your footwear. Loafers with a wacky print or bright-colored canvas shoes are a great way to add coolness.
- Go a little more daring with the print on your tie when you want to be both formal and stylish.
- Sometimes dudes make the mistake of not thinking through which accessories to wear. The wrong ones can definitely add dork points rather than edgy ones. When you’re hitting the coffee shop with your laptop, for example, you definitely don’t give off a cool vibe if you walk in with stacks of papers and a bunch of cords. Instead, find a rugged messenger bag or a leather backpack to add some style to your look and some organization to your items.
2. Don’t Be Shy about Keeping it Real
Like most things about parenthood, figuring out how much sensitive information or personal views to share with your kids is something of a balancing act. If you reveal too much of your checkered past, you can scar them for life. OK, maybe not really, but you may end up sharing more than they can handle at the moment.
On the other hand, if you pretend to have a squeaky-clean background or a sunny outlook on everything, your kids are apt to see you as someone they can’t confide in.
A truly cool dad will be one who develops a sense about how much reality his kids can handle and when may be the best time to fire off that “truth cannon.”
Obviously, sons can draw comfort from the fact that it’s normal to feel conflicted about sex, partying, college, and those other minefields of high school and young adulthood years. Daughters can also benefit by learning more about those mysterious creatures known as teen boys.
What about other concerns such as current events and shaky family finances? Mom and dad often instinctively keep those realities to themselves, especially if there’s something about the topic that might make kids feel anxious. The “coolest dad” thing you can do, though, is to at least give your children some idea of what’s going on and how you feel about it. They’ll appreciate knowing they’re not alone in worrying, whether it’s about global warming or affording the college of their dreams.
3. Respect Their Emerging Opinions
It’s normal to throw out the “cool dad” persona when your kids start expressing opinions that make you uncomfortable.
Just remember, though, you had some pretty cringe-worthy opinions when you were young, too. In fact, it’s totally natural for children and teens to bounce all over the place when it comes to how they feel about religion, social issues, and even their favorite sports teams.
Even if you’re dismayed by some of the opinions they hold, stay calm. For one thing, it’s not unheard of for teens to be mini-contrarians. Whether they know it or not, they may simply want to argue the opposite point-of-view to establish their own ideas. Whether they view you as a cool dad or not, they need to veer away a bit to get a better sense of their own identity.
Even if they sincerely have a different ideology than you or want to pursue a career you don’t believe in, be patient. Their views are apt to change – and change again. If they feel safe enough to have a spirited but respectful debate with their “cool parents,” they’ll be able to grow and learn.
Of course, you don’t have to sacrifice hipness by pretending to agree with a radical position when you don’t. You can always let them know if you’re saddened to hear something that goes against your own values.
At the same time, try not to argue them out of their positions. They can’t really come to an informed point-of-view without exploring all aspects of a topic. The coolest dad thing you can do is be a sounding board while they sort through their thoughts.
4. Be Strong Inside and Out
As much as caring about values and feelings is important, sometimes the more superficial elements of your lifestyle can’t be ignored. Along with paying attention to clothing and grooming, staying fit is part of staying cool in your kids’ eyes, as well as to the rest of the world.
Does that mean out-of-shape dads can’t be cool? Of course not. We can all think of movie stars and rock gods who aren’t exactly health nuts. For most guys, however, staying in shape is an excellent way to build up confidence. Projecting that aura of command is key to the whole cool dad image.
Most of all, it helps you keep up with your kids and their friends when they want you to, whether it’s chasing after them at the beach when they’re little or joining their laser tag team when they’re a man down!
A cool dad is one who treats his woman right. Want an idea for a perfect gift for your lady love? Here’s awesome stuff from LadBaby:
There are probably times when you wonder if being a cool dad should really be a high priority in your life. To be honest, your image shouldn’t preoccupy you unduly, but it’s only natural for men to want to keep their edge as they enter a different phase in life. Fatherhood is no exception. You’re certainly not neglecting your children if you focus on other aspects of yourself than fatherhood. After all, when you make becoming a “cool dad” a priority, you’re focusing on both worlds. When you do it right, those aspects can only enhance one another.
Have any more tips on how to be a cool dad? Share them with us below!
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Grinil Khanna says
There are some very cute points here. Thanks for sharing! Being real and respecting and listening to the opinions of the kiddos does wonders for development of self-esteem and identity formation.